It is feeding the goats that I enjoy the most on the farm. They are affectionate creatures. And they sure as hell know when it is time to eat. I fill up a large, red plastic Folgers coffee container with pellet-like feed. This feed is supposed to be loaded with nutrients.
As soon as I open the gate, they are after me. Jumping on me; tripping me.
We have the males separated from the females, of course. And, of course, they sometimes find a way to escape, make their way in with the females, and we have a helluva time wrangling them back to their designated area.
Reinforcing fences seems to be a reoccurring duty for me. I do not mind it, though. It makes me feel useful.
However, the goats are the animals I enjoy feeding the most. Not only do I feed them the nutrient pellets, but hay is a MUST, as well. And there is something about cutting the twine with my knife, the smell of the hay as I grab an arm-load of it to carry it to the feeder… the feeling it gives me… it makes me feel like a farmer.
Maybe that is what I REALLY am.
My god, when did this happen?
A year ago, back in Ohio, I was managing a kitchen for a Sober Living home. Now, I’m feeding pigs, going to a feed store, fixing fences.
How the hell did all this happen?
Of course, I still read. I still write. I still cook.
It’s hard for me to determine if “farming” is my job. I do not receive a paycheck; however, I receive all that I could ever want. All I have to do is ask for it. It’s that simple: if you need something, ask. If you desire something, ask. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Ask. And I don’t ask for much.
Those goats, though, make me smile. They attack me when I enter their pen with food. And today, while reinforcing the fence, no less, two of them were trying to help me. As I was slouched to nail-in a stud into a wall to secure a fence, one of the girls jumped on my back; the other was nibbling on the lanyard of my knife.
This may not be the life I imagined in my twenties… in my teens. Hell, I could never imagine myself raising baby piglets.
(That is a story in itself.)
What I do know: I have been blessed. Why? I have no idea. Maybe there is a god up in the heavens that feels some people have suffered enough… that their bill has been paid for their sins… that it is time for a break from all the broken moments from life.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
But I don’t think so.